Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has given a strong indication that teenager Ruben Loftus-Cheek may be given more first-team opportunities next season.
The Stamford Bridge club, along with Manchester clubs United and City, have been heavily linked with Juventus’ French midfielder Paul Pogba.
But Mourinho insisted that he is happy with his entire midfield staff, and gave a hint as to the way he plans to utilise Loftus-Cheek, who has two first-team appearances this term.
The Special One said: “I don’t think about Pogba or other players.
“The only thing I can tell you is that you look to our midfield players and between (Cesc) Fabregas, (Nemanja) Matic, Ramires, Ruben and (John Obi) Mikel we have a good group.
“And I believe a lot in Ruben, and I repeat next season the squad will be made in a way where Ruben is not a number, where he is a player to compete for a position.
I don’t do it now because I don’t think it’s a good moment to do it. It’s the moment for his evolution, to protect him.
“At the moment we think it’s best to go with the players with more experience, who have played for a long time and have lots of experience.
“Ruben is a player that next season I expect him, not just to play a few times, but I expect him to compete for a place in the team.”
Steve Osborne @Pack3rNa7ion